12.22.2012

support your Local Bike Shop... give your business to the business that is good to you

I have a simple philosophy...
SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL BIKE SHOP
and if that bicycle shop does not treat you well
take your business elsewhere

Washington DC has no shortage of bicycle shops
there has to be one that suits your personality and needs
you do not need to spend your money in a shop that you feel does not appreciate your business

in various circles I am viewed as "the cycling guy" or "the bicycle guru"
in the neighborhood... at work... at my kids' school
it is not uncommon for people to ask for both bicycle advice and then bicycle shop advice
normally I give them my text book advice on Supporting their Local Bicycle Shop
then I go through a quick measure of where they live
and what shops are convenient to them

telling them to shop for a bike and a bike shop in the same effort
convenience of the shop because you will need to visit that shop periodically
then also a feeling of trust and comfort with the shop
knowing that their advice is good, their prices are fair, and their repairs are spot on

funny...
most of my time in the shop is not "local"
I have a friend who owns a shop and he gives me a little bit of a "bro deal" it is not as good as the "pro deal"
but is good... and I am no pro

I did my business with Jonathan and The Family Bike Shop even before his shop became the shop sponsor of DCMTB
DC Mountain Bike... the mountain bike team I ride and race with


here is a write up about how I feel about the Family Bike Shop
"special treatment" at The Family Bike Shop
http://gwadzilla.blogspot.com/2011/03/repost-family-bike-shop.html

well... as Christmas approaches my wife Lisa and I finalize the purchases
our older son Dean had a long list of "wants"
at top of that list was a cyclocross bike
well... I was on the fence with this purchase

but.. with younger Grant getting an iTouch as his "big gift"
we needed to get a "big gift" for Dean
the cyclocross bike was not only something he really wanted, but it is something that he can use and will enrich his life

so... I started to search
some electronic searches... some requests among electronic friends and acquaintances 
a scan of some local shops for used equipment
there were some choices... 

the used options offered hesitancy
then their was the issue of sizing
sure there were some used options out there.... but these bikes or bike frames were all at a risk of being too large

so I picked up the phone and gave Jonathan at The Family Bike Shop a call
we went through the options.... talked about prices... 
it was tough...
even with the DCMTB team deal it would be slightly out of my price range
these were great bikes at great prices... but I was not ready to spend that much on a bicycle for an 11 year old boy

then with hesitancy in his voice Jonathan mentioned that he had seem some bikes at the races 
no name bikes... yellow frames.... a bunch of kids were riding these bikes bought on line
Jonathan said that Jim the The Unholy Rouleur had bought one of these bikes
so... I sent a message to Jim asking about what and where he had bought

http://unholyrouleur-jim.blogspot.com/

sure enough... it was Bikes Direct
I have seen their SPAM like comments on the blogs
and I had seen all sorts of Motebecane and Gravity bikes that were from Bikes Direct
it made me awkward to be avoiding the brick and mortar bike shop and getting something online
but... they had something more reasonable... still more than I was looking to spend
but reasonable

so last night I was out getting beers with friends
sent a text to Cargo Mike to see if he wanted to hang out for a beer
sure enough... after a late afternoon into the evening of pulling the trailer downtown Mike was able to meet for a drink
we all hung out and shot the shit

towards the end of the night I talked to Mike about the bike search for Dean
Mike offered to take a look at the specs of this Bike Direct bike
so... after we left the bar we took off down the road for my house
we got home before the boys were in bed which allowed for measuring Dean and having him stand over Mike's On One cyclocross single speed

to my pleasure... Mike guided me towards the smaller size frame
a bike that would fit dean... but he would not outgrow so fast
a frame that would fit him rather than a frame that he would have to grow into
with Cargo Mike's Guidance I was buying the 42cm frame instead of the 46cm frame

that was important... I was close to making the order
Lisa had said Dean was taller than he is... at 5'1" was the rough measure I got... Lisa may have said he was 5'4" tall... which would have guided me towards the larger size frame

the talk of top tube length and stand over height was tough and confusing
the measurements are not that easy to determine
the sizing chart helped
and I made the order and my fingers are still crossed

here is the bike we got the Gravity Liberty CX
www.bikesdirect.com

yes... look for a deal
but also Support Your Local Bike Shop and your Local Businesses in general
after Christmas I will be headed to The Family Bike Shop to bring in some bikes that are in need of a mechanic's touch that I lack
I can turn a wrench... but sometimes it is nice to have the outside help
and of course
the ability to order the replacement parts I will need to bring these bikes back to 100% again


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